"Exciting isn't it," Kyle said popping up next to Philip.
"Did you know about this?"
"Of course. He didn't warn James of course but Jason was polite enough to ask for my permission. It is only right he did as I am James's husband."
"Care to explain his choice to me."
"Yes, well, you see according to Jason you're a bit of a lecher who tends to get himself into lots of trouble, you insult Jason when you don't really intend to so Jason thought...", "Jason told you about our fight."
"Of course, don't you gossip with Marcus all the time?"
"That's different; I do that to show off, not to complain."
"Well, it's too late. It seems you agreed to compromise. Jason knows you didn't mean to, but he plans on keeping you at your word. From now on it's just the four of us... lucky me, right?" Kyle said waving his tail around playfully.
Going over to Jason, Philip pulled him away from James. "What have you gotten me into...? Kyle is looking at me like a carnival prize he just won."
"Oh that," Jason chuckled. "I had wondered if I could talk to you first but if you get to know Kyle you'll discover he can't keep a secret to save his life. You should remember that if you plan to tell him anything important."
"I know I agreed to limit myself but to only those two?" Philip said pointing to where James was now seated on this throne Kyle sitting in his lap.
"It won't be only those two," Jason said calmly. "But it will only be people we can both agree to and no more sneaking out of the bed in the middle of the night just because you can't control your urges."
"How hard will that be, to get you to agree to let me sleep with someone?"
"That depends on who you pick. I don't want to hear about you sleeping with some stranger I don't know I even like."
"You're going to make me suffer, aren't you?"
"At least in the beginning until you figure out the rules at least."
"And what are the rules?" Philip asked.
"That's the tricky part... you should already know me well enough to know them," Jason said as he went back to James.
"Are you really going to make him suffer?" James asked as he and Jason walked out of the Grand Hall together.
"Just a little. The point is Philip should know better. Then again, I should have put a stop to his nonsense from the beginning."
"Why didn't you?"
"I was afraid to. At first, I thought he must love the men he sleeps with as much as I do when in truth the most he usually feels is a passing fondness. That's one of the differences between him and me. I don't like the idea of sleeping with someone I hardly know. For Philip the not knowing adds a sense of mystery and adventure to his encounters."
"Do you think he will really change?"
"No, I know better than to expect a Centurion to stop being a Centurion," Jason laughed. "I just want him to be less rude about it."
"I must say from experience I've had you in my bed and I've never wished to leave it."
"I know but how long are we going to play this game of trying to make Philip jealous."
"Until he learns his lesson," James laughed. "I am very fond of you Jason."
"As I am of you."
"Is that why you gave me that very uncomfortable chair. I really do wish you hadn't by the way."
"I need you, James, not just to command the Home Guard but because you are the only one who understands what I am going through."
"You could always tell Philip."
"I can't. If I did, he would seal me up in a box and bury me in a deep pit to prevent my dreams from happening and it would do him no good."
"I understand but don't think I feel much better knowing some of my dreams might come true."
"That is why we need each other. We have to tell somebody after all but I don't think Kyle is the kind of person who would handle it much better than Philip."
"He's called the imp for a reason."
"Does that bother you?"
"No. I know why he's so small. Amplexor recognized me as the protector of the two of us and gave me the body to help do exactly that. Kyle has always been the nervous type and I like that I can comfort him. It helps me feel needed. It's just..."
"You can't get angry with him or he melts like butter."
"How did you know?"
"Philip is the same way. I used to think I was the one more afraid of the two of us. As time passed I learned I was wrong. Philip is the one who is really scared."
"What does he have to be afraid of?"
"That I might leave him or that he will wake up one day find his life with me was nothing but a pleasant dream."
"But you would never leave him."
"Not of my own free will," Jason replied.
"You listen to me Philip would slaughter an entire army of Grau before letting them have you and I'm quite willing to do the same so enough of you thinking there is no hope," James said, turning Jason to face him.
"I will try James," Jason said softly.
"Say it with a smile," James insisted.
"I will try," Jason said this time with an awkward grin.
"That's no way to smile," James said before kissing Jason hard on the lips. "Now that's a proper smile," he said after their lips parted.
"You're infatuated with me," Jason laughed.
"Maybe I am," James said taking hold of Jason's hand in his. "What am I going to tell Kyle," he said with a sigh.
"I am more worried about Kyle than I am you. You see how he clings to Philip."
"It's different with him... I think he sees Philip as the fun older brother he wishes he had. You know someone to beat up the boys who used to bully him about his size."
"And how do you see me?"
"As the man, I wish Kyle could sometimes be... gentle but strong enough to handle the serious matters."
"Then we might have a problem," Jason whispered.
"Why, how do you feel about me?" James asked.
"To be honest, I haven't felt this way about another person since Varrus."
"The most handsome man in all of Ares? I feel honored," James laughed. "You're right, we might have a problem. Should we stop?"
"No," Jason said quickly frightened by how fast he reached that decision.
"Good, because I don't want to either. So about our bonds... still thinking about it?"
"I think we both should."
"But you do want to give me yours and mine to you?"
"I do but as I told you I am afraid what that could lead to."
"It is a road we won't ever be able to leave," James agreed. "We'll wait a year and then decided... that is if we still feel the same way about each other."
"I don't think that will be a problem," Jason almost croaked.
"I'm sorry if I'm making you nervous," James as the two of them reached the steps of the palace.
"You're not nervous?"
"Right now I'm trying not to imagine Kyle clawing my eyes out."
"Funny I picture Philip doing the same thing to you." Jason chuckled.
"He would never set out to hurt you intentionally?"
"He never will. That's why I don't want to hurt him."
"Then I know what I must do... either Kyle or I must get Philip to love us as much as I love you."
"That will never happen."
"Then he must never know," James said stopping at the doors to the palace.
"I understand," Jason whispered before stepping inside.